Log in

No account? Create an account

Jul. 5th, 2013


A is for Shqiptare...?

I'm back! Sorry for the gap! I've been arranging the stamps plus I took a trip to Whitby. I found something quite interesting there that I'll share sometime soon. Back to the topic of today - stamps belonging to countries starting with A. So, you might ask, what is with Shqiptare? Well, my list is in English.

Shqiptare = Albania
Nonius is a horse breed, if you could guess by the picture. Apparently a famous Hungarian horse breed rather than Albanian one, but they do interbreed.

Also found in the A section is Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Argentina, and Azerbaijan. No surprise unknown countries this time round besides language difficulties.

Jun. 14th, 2013


Vanishing countries and meeting Cinderella...

Today I'm going to talk about the theme of countries in stamps. A preliminary sorting of my collection has thrown up several problems as I tried to arrange the stamps by country. For example these three stamps:

Ruanda Urundi

Ruanda Urundi is the name of a Belgian African colony - that was later split into Rwanda and Burundi. Ruanda Urundi shares the same geographic location of both the second two, but requires it's own pile.

These ones 20130614_010955 (Czechoslovakia), and this one too share the same issue 20130614_011119 (Yugoslavia).

If you look through old stamp collector books from 50 years ago they reveal a wealth of no longer existing countries.
French Colonies anyone?

If I hadn't looked at the earlier stamps I never would have realised the large changes countries have undergone in the last 100 years. Stamps being introduced from 1840 have spread around the world and reveal the changes and the development of the culture and history of countries around the world. It has made me realise just how fluid the idea of a country can be.

On the other hand some "countries" can be stuck in limbo. Take this stamp for example:


At first glance it seems entirely legitimate, that in some place in the world it is used to post items. However, República Saharaui stamps are "Cinderella" stamps. That is to say they look like stamps, but they aren't and can't be used as stamps. In this case the country is not internationally recognised. A left over from the African Colonies days resulted in a part of the west of the Sahara being made part of Morocco but not all agreed. Many years later the UN hasn't come to a conclusion as far as I'm aware. These "stamps" are propaganda pieces for those that wish their country to be recognised. Such is the power of a stamp, it implies government and infrastructure, culture and history. However, Cinderella stamps can also be there just to be pretty, like a miniature. It won't take your letter anywhere.


The next post will be the start of an A to Z of countries whose stamps I have - with a glance at the histories and cultural things they reveal :)

Jun. 12th, 2013

natsume 1

Journal purpose will change (or rather gain!)

If anyone bothers to look at this just a note to say I intend to start using this journal for DofE purposes. If you wonder what DofE is it is the Duke of Edinburgh Award, if you are under 24 and in the UK I highly suggest it. As for the specific DofE purpose to create a blog about stamps for my skills section. I'm here to prove how interesting stamps can be!
Tags: ,